'Be Great Commission Baptists,' Akin exhorts
HOUSTON (BP) -- Daniel Akin, in this year's convention sermon at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, preached from Romans 15:14-24 on six undeniable marks of a Great Commission people.
Akin, president of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, recounted that last year messengers approved the name "Great Commission Baptists" as a complementary designation for the convention.
"For me, the issue is not will we be called Great Commission Baptists? The real issue is will we be Great Commission Baptists?" Akin said June 12 in Houston.
Akin reminded messengers of their priorities.
"Southern Baptists do many good things, and we should. But we must keep our focus on the most important thing: Jesus Christ and His Gospel," Akin said.
Furthermore, Southern Baptists must be a Christ-centered people who boast only in Jesus and who see the ministry of bringing the nations to Jesus as offerings of worship to the triune God.
"Paul knew that being Christ-centered would radically impact how we think, how we speak, how we act and how we live," Akin said.
"The Roman church never lost sight of the centrality and nature of the Gospel. Why? Paul reveals this to them in the beginning of his letter: 'For I, Paul, am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.'"
Akin said God's people are to be consumed in getting the Gospel to those who have never heard the name of Jesus. God's people, he said, "must be in those places where the name of Christ is not known."
Southern Baptists are to see themselves as a missionary people with each one doing his or her part to see the mission completed.
"Whether you are willing to go, give financially or pray, you are to play a part in the Great Commission," Akin said.
Akin concluded the convention message with a story about the late Adrian Rogers, longtime pastor of the Memphis-area Bellevue Baptist Church. Rogers told Akin that during the Conservative Resurgence, many Southern Baptists were on the battlefield fighting shoulder-to-shoulder against a common enemy.
After the battle had been won, many brothers and sisters retreated to the barracks and unfortunately began fighting against one another.
"What Southern Baptists need to do," Akin said, "is get out of the barracks and back on the battlefield to fight the real enemies: sin, Satan, death and hell. And by God's grace alone will Southern Baptists be an obedient, Great Commission people who fight the good fight until the day we see coming from heaven a rider on a white horse."
Michael McEwen is a news and information specialist at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).